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Faculty Forum Online: Food Labeling Language, a Polyglot’s Primer

>>Hi, I’m Whitney Espich, the CEO
of the MIT Alumni Association. and I hope you enjoy this digital production created for alumni and friends like you. Grace: Hi.
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Grace Chua, and welcome to the MIT Faculty
Forum. It looks like we have over 100
of you online to watch this webinar, and we are looking forward to having Professor Tom
Montville, the speaker on the topic of Food Labeling Language,
a Polyglot’s Primer. As I mentioned, my name is Grace
Chua, a senior consultant who helps — for good in the world,
and I will be serving as your moderator for today’s
presentation. This presentation is being
brought to you by the MIT Alumni Association and is sponsored in
part by the MIT federal credit union, MIT professional
education, and MIT’s Sloan executive education.
Just as a reminder, we welcome your questions during this chat.
Please feel free to use the tools at the bottom of your
screen in Zoom. There is a Q&A feature in the
middle of your toolbar at the bottom.
For those of us viewing on YouTube, you can add your
questions to the comments field next to the stream, and we also
encourage you to engage in social media and Tweet using the
hashtag #MITBetterWorld. That is #MITBetterWorld, all one
word, and we will try to get to as many questions as we can.
I am delighted to introduce our
featured presenter for today, Professor Thomas Montville, PhD
’79. Professor Montville is the
distinguished professor emeritus of Food Science at Rutgers
University. He received his PhD from MIT, his BS from Rutgers, and he was a senior microbiologist at USDA
before joining Rutgers faculty. Professor Montville has provided
numerous expert opinions for complex litigations involving
natural claims. He is a fellow of the American
Academy of Microbiology and a fellow of the Institute of Food
Technologist. His pioneering research on
naturally-occurring antimicrobials was recognized by
the IFT’s Bernard L. Oser Award for Food Ingredient Safety.
Professor Montville also received the President’s
Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association
for Food Protection. And with that, I now turn things
over to Professor Montville. Professor Montville, please.
Dr. Montville: Good afternoon. I am going to talk to you today
a little bit about natural food and organic, and what is the
difference. Some of the labeling claims on
food packages, a little bit about dietary supplements, and then finally a little bit about
expiration dates and what they mean. Excuse me.
You have heard about me. I would like to tell you a
little bit about what I do. The first thing is exactly what
Food Science is. It is not nutrition, please. Food Science, I like to say, is
everything that happens from the time food comes out of the ground — before that, it is
agriculture. And once it goes into the mouth,
it becomes nutrition. Food Science is inherently — an
inherently multidisciplinary field, where we have to know
about heat, and microbiologists
have to know how to keep food safe from foodborne pathogens.
My advisor told me never give a talk without working in a little
bit of new research, so I would just like to say a a few
words about the natural antibacterial — antimicrobial
peptides, the same bacteria that ferment milk to give us younger,
vegetables to give us sauerkraut, cheeses, fermented
meats, and so on. Some of these produced naturally
microbial peptides, foodborne pathogens, like listeria.
One of the great things about being in a multidisciplinary
department is I have access to physical chemist and a
microbiologist to specializes — who specializes.
This is the mechanism, these ovals are the peptide.
They first bind to the bilayer
and then form chords. We illustrated by using the
structure, one which was done in collaboration at the university,
and we were interested in how this worked, so we synthesize
the full molecule, the leader, and we happy tool — have the
tool and found that it was the
positively charged amino acids that interacted with them.
We also found artificial cells with a fluorescent marker
compound and treat it with a detergent. If we use bacterial’s, there was
a time and concentration of the mechanism. So natural and organic food, why are they labeled natural and
organic food? It is clear from the market
place that consumers want
natural and organic food, and the food industry, being market
-driven, makes whatever the consumer once.
So you see — wants. So you see a graph over a two-y
ear period. You can see this is pretty
dismal, being less than 2% growth, whereas natural and
organic food is 10% growth, which have increased, two years
between 12% and 14%. If you are in food manufacturing, you have
conventional food, and you can make it natural, that will be a
big boost of your sales and your profitability.
Now there is a difference between organic and natural
foods. Organic foods are grown under
the organic food production act. This was made by the USDA economic research service to
prevent fraud, claiming food was organic.
It was not based on science, but again come on the process by
which the food is grown, it has nothing to do with the product,
the quality, microbial safety, or the nutrition, all of which
are the same as conventional food.
This picture down here just shows an organic farm and why you have this field.
Organic farms can be as big as industrial farms.
Now, the law for organics is pretty straightforward.
The first is that there cannot be any genetically modified
organisms. This is taken very strictly with
regards to TSI, fruit from the forbidden tree.
Under the current regulation, any compound or ingredient from
the plant or animal that has been genetically modified is
genetically modified and cannot be used for organic.
There is a discussion taken place now, where foods that are
not proof light — there is a
discussion taking place now, where foods that are not
terrified, such as vodka, can still be — purified, such as
vodka, can still be certified organic, even though they use
genetically modified organisms for best-of-five systems — for
pesticide systems. The next is no irradiation.
Irradiation was proven safe in the 1950’s, a real safe,
effective solution to some real microbe real problems, —
microbial problems. Meat products.
Consumers have rejected it, because they are afraid of
reaction radiation, radioactive meat, and so on.
Radiation is also being discussed for pasteurization. The third is no synthetic feeds,
hormones, pesticides, or other substances, unless they are on
the list. I will show you the list in a
moment. No plastic pellets. No antibiotics.
Members are concerned about the antibiotic resistance growth.
This is going over to conventional animal husbandry.
They can get a premium for foods grown without antibiotics.
You will see on packages now, NA E — no antibiotics ever.
Finally, no chemical fertilizers.
There are some microbial hazards and animal welfare, a legitimate
reason to eat organic, and here you can see a bunch of free
range chickens. The allowed list contains many ingredients and compounds you
might be surprised that. The first is it allows synthetic
pesticides like strychnine. Secondly, it allows chemicals
such as hypochlorite or hydrogen
peroxide and so want. It also allows some antibiotics,
like streptomycin and tetracycline to control fire
blight IN apples , so there are
some antibiotics and organic foods.
And if the foods qualify under these regulations, they can be
stamped with the USDA organic seal.
The USDA organic seal can be used if a product is more than
95% organic. Here you can see the USDA seal
found at the bottom here, and with it the non-GMO verified symbol.
If a food contains more than 70% organic, it can be labeled as ” made with organic,” but it does
not have the USDA stamp. In order to be certified as
organic, the farmer has to use organic practices and use these
practices before they can certify for organic, so there is
a transitional period, where the farmer is using organic methods
to charge a premium for organic foods. This is transitional food peer
you can see other labeling, they may be over labeled, sustainable
farmlands, fair trade, and so on.
There are a variety, then, of symbols you can find on your
food. As I mentioned, the USDA organic
covers all of the foods that
meet the USDA requirements. There’s a non-GM oh products — non-GMO products, so foods are
produced without non-genetically modified organisms.
There is one being sued by the
FDA, because only this organic symbol is allowed on organic
food. Down here we have a labeling claim, “made with all-natural,”
“no artificial preservatives,” and that segues us into natural
food. Natural is certainly a marketing
claim. You can see “all-natural,”
all-natural snapple and all sorts of other foods, salad
dressing. They can charge a premium by
being labeled “natural.” There is no legal definition for
“natural” when used in food ingredients, so this has a big
field for litigation. The FDA has considered the term
“natural” to mean nothing artificial or synthetic in the
area of flavor, and you can see this is a little bit of a
circular argument. It is natural if it is not
artificial. It is pretty clear what is artificial is not.
What is normally expected to be in your food is something that
is not litigated, because who knows what consumers expect to
find in their food? This definition, nothing
artificial or synthetic, has been considered “the best thinking of the” FDA. FDA is currently requesting
comments on use of the term “natural” on food labeling.
They are asking for comments on — should natural even be
regulated? If it is regulated and defined, should it be narrowly defined or
broadly defined as just having synthetic and so on?
My guess is that the FDA will come up with a definition, and it will be limited to nothing
synthetic, because synthetic is an arguable. — is inarguable.
A number of consumer soups have challenged different food
ingredients. High fructose corn syrup is a
frequent target because it is invented, made in a factory, and
does not occur in nature, which is all true.
High fructose courts or was invented in the 1970’s with the
advent of thermostable amylase
and thermostable glucose. Like all other foods, it is made
in a factory, and like mentioned, it does not occur in
nature. Sucrose is made of glucose and
fructose. Starch is just a polymer of
glucose. Corn syrup means the amylase is
to break down chorus or printer glucose — is to break down amylase into glucose.
And high fructose corn syrup is about 55% fructose and 45%
glucose by virtue of summer enrichment of the fructose.
When we say hi fructose, it is not enormously high levels and
not much different than what you would find in a compound.
Nonetheless, food manufacturers are selling, taking advantage of
the marketplace with this, with no high fructose corn syrup.
You can see on some labels, high fructose corn Serpas just
replaced with corn syrup, or in very clever labels, and replace
with any hydrated sugarcane juice.
Another compound that has been criticized as being synthetic is
citric acid. Citric acid in fact is made
microbe really — microbiall y, using the citric acid cycle or the acid cycle.
In this cycle, the first compound made is citric acid,
and there is a mutation to prevent the mutation into
citrate, and citrate can eke out of the cell and have
extracellular — 90% of citric acid currently sold in the
United States is made from — microbeially.
We produce citric acid in our body cleared judges seem to
understand it is natural if in fact we use the same path we and
our body. There’s other litigation,
Hornell Brewing Company, a repeat client of mine, they have
been sued for using a sorbent acid.
It is made by fermentation of sorbitol.
It has been consumed with over the years, gelatin, which is
just made by the hydrolysis of collagen. Or xanthan gum , which is made as
an exercise of her — extracellular.
So the take-home lesson on organic is that being the gold standard, all organic is natural
and non-GMO, but not all-natural is organic, and non-GMO does not
have to be organic or natural. We will move on to health claims
for food. There are several categories of
health claims. Most wildly — widely understood
are the nutritional labels that go on the side panel, that go on
by the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act.
This has gone on for a long time.
It has been updated to this label as of 2016, will be
required to be on food in 2020. You will see both of these
labels. A big change, emphasis on
serving size, and this is on calories — in process o — emphasis on calories, due to
the widely cited mantra that a
calorie is a calories. When it comes to physiology, not
all calories are the same. A calorie adjusted from 100
grams of whole wheat bread is different than 100 calories ingested by high fructose corn
syrup. The efficacy of calories is even
affected by gut microbe bile. There are classical experienced
on Wednesday, material — when fecal material was taken
from twins, one who was obese, and the one who was thin.
You can see the fecal extracts from the fat twin and the one that received the extracts from
the thin twin became thin. Another thing different in these
labels are the idea of carbohydrates.
We know that fibers produce certain health benefits, and
that total sugars are generally considered bad. Consumption of
sugar — I’m sorry, in the 1800s, it was less
than 120 pounds a year. It has increased exponentially
so that now in the last 30 years, it has increased to 130
pounds of sugar per person, per year, so added sugar is
something that consumers look at very closely. The national
Nutritional Labeling and Education Act allows for
allowable claims, so it is a significant scientific view, in
other words, the consensus that this function does take place as
a result of the structure. The N LEA.
The manufacturers have to prove that the food is safe.
This may seem obvious, the manufacturers have to prove food
is safe, but you will see with supplements, there are in fact
other ways around. There are allowable health
claims, and all of these have to be preapproved by the FDA.
The allowable claims — there’s a sound scientific consensus
that things like low saturated fats and cholesterol reduce risk
of heart disease, low fiber reduce the risk of cancer and
heart disease. The issue with cancer is many
benign compounds are embedded into carcinogens.
Sugar alcohols are not fermented.
It might reduce the risk of — The labels are pretty clear. They do contain the words “may”
or “might” have this specific benefit.
You cannot cheat and claim a reduced risk of one thing by
including ingredients that increase the risk of something
else, so that when you have a food that has an allowable
health claim, it cannot be high in fats, so sure it if that’s —
saturated fats, sodium, and so on. There are qualified health
claims, and qualified health claims or a little bit
different, because they do not require a scientific consensus.
There has to be a body of evidence, but a limited body of
evidence that suggests that cancer risk is reduced by the
presence of antioxidant vitamin. You will see antioxidants are widely touted on food labels because of the oxidation
period, so anything that produces an antioxidant would be
considered antiaging. Full of gas it has recently been
added as an enrichment of bread to prevent 2 defects — neural tube defects. Labeling claims come I
personally think, have gotten out of hands.
Here we have a whole international panel on the side
of the package, but on the front of the package, we have eight
different version of claims, including the qualified health
claim down here, that it may reduce the risk of heart
disease. There are other nutritional
claims made on — you have to excuse me, because I need notes
to make sure I get this record here we are, Ken’s light salad
dressing. It claims in order to have a
label that says reduced calorie, it has to have 25% fewer
calories than calories of a reference food, but it is not
qualified as to the number of calories.
Low calories have to have less than 50% of the calories of a
reference food. And no calorie has to be
qualified as less than five calories per serving.
Sugars, much simpler, produced, — red uced, again, Wi-Fi percent
less, free is what it says, no sugars at all. Fats are little complicated,
produced means less than 25%. Lite means less than 50%.
Low is equal to less than three grams of fat per serving.
And free is less than half a gram of fat per serving.
That covers foods. I would like to move on to
supplements, and I see supplements as being the wild
wild West of the food industry. Food ingredients are covered by
the NLEA. Supplements are regulated by the
dietary supplement health and education act. Under theD DSHEA, there is no
need for significant scientific agreement. It should be noted, however, the
supplement cannot be advertised as preventing, mitigating, or
curing something because those definitions are a drug.
They do not have to prove the ticket to market, so they can
take virtually anything, put it in the marketplace until the
government proves that is unsafe, and then they remove it
from the marketplace. The legal definition of a
dietary supplement is pretty straightforward, it is a
supplement not used as a conventional food, so something
like Ensure, which is a nutritional beverage, for young,
active people and also older
people, is a food, not a supplement.
Herbs and botanicals, there’s a big area of fraud in the use of
herbal supplements in that they can only be verified as
authentic by examination by an expert.
So 70%, and some studies, 70% of herbs on the market have
contained foreign matter or in fact not any herbs at all. Now, the DSHE A amends the Delaney Clause.
The amendment is really important, because in the food
drug cosmetic act, it contains the clause which prohibit any
ingredient that causes any cancer in any amount from being
adultery in it. When I tell people I might good
scientist, they say oh, you are one of those guys who puts the ingredients that cause cancer in
two foods; no, it is illegal to do that, according to the
Delaney act. Under the DSHEA, a substance is
adulterated if it creates significant or unreasonable risk
of supposed to any amount, any animal, any amount, and instead
of that, it is when used with directions, so in the case of
ephedra, the company was able to keep it on the market by
claiming they were not used according to directions.
The FDA eventually went out from that.
Finally, we have some issues of expiration dates, which are all
over the place. They range from just the date , and the consumer does not know
whether this is the date of manufacture, the date best if used by, or so on, it is just a
date. We have used by, and the use by is generally due to some food
safety issue, so you want to use or freeze by, and that means
exactly what it says. Check the use or freeze by days
on your refrigerator maternal to
ensure your safety in your refrigerator.
We also have a best if used by. This is the most clear
designation of food that is edible.
It is still perhaps even good, but not at peak quality or peak nutritional quality if it is
consumed after the Best Buy day. — date.
There’s ambiguous labeling recommended for use by.
This is confusing for the consumer, because it does not
differentiate between best if they used by.
The FDA is working on a consolidation where they will
only allow the claim of use by or best if used by.
Finally, we have milks, that have a sell by date.
The sell by date should give you seven days of safe storage in
your refrigerator before it is opened. Once it is open, it is
susceptible to contaminants from the refrigerator or the
consumer, and all bets are off. That is it for food labeling.
There are some sarcastic
cartoons us to where the future of food labeling may go. Be horizontal position, which
you think might be funny, but it is only on there because someone
had it vertically as a — so we
cannot be too careful about what we say or what we do care
hopefully we will not have to have excessive disclaimers on
our food. The mantra for food consumption
and good nutrition is just eat a wide variety of food in
moderation. And in fact, I will take
questions. Grace: Great, thank you so much,
Professor Montville. And I feel like I learned a
lot, and the audience did, too. We have a ton of questions
coming in through the question-and-answer tool in
Zoom. We have a cluster of questions,
I think, about food allergen labeling , a number of questions
like — is it legal to use only a contains allergen, certain
allergens, say, peanuts, to include cross contaminants that
are not an ingredient, but they are trace amounts?
What is the law around, for example, say, “may contain tree
nuts,” versus specifying the type of treatment? — of tree
nut? And what is actually meant when
the label says “may contain,” or “this is manufactured on shared
equipment”? Can we quantify those risks?
Dr. Montville: That is a great question.
There is a wide concern about allergens, and some food
companies have large facilities that make food that contain
allergens — you know, milk is an allergen, eggs are an
allergen, shellfish, soy, meat, so it is not just peanuts.
So the use of a label that says “may contain ” depends on the
processing line, or made in a facility that produces some
specific allergen, I think, is the broadest warning to the
consumer. However, like I said, if a food
contains wheat, milk, or eggs, it is not going to be labeled as
an allergen, and the consumer is going to have to know to avoid
those foods by reading the ingredient list.
Grace: There’s also a cluster — thanks, Professor
Montville. I think some of us in the
audience are parents of children, especially, who have
food allergens, so this is something that we pay very close
attention to. There’s another question, a sort
of cluster of questions, about, you know, emerging trends and what the definitions are of
certain terms, such as — are there any legal definitions of
free range, cage-free, and pasture raised?
Are there legal definitions of low-carb or keto?
Dr. Montville: I know there is no definition for low-carb or
keto. I n terms of — for example,
cage-free, I know there is not. Cage-free, I have seen pictures
of “cage-free facilities,” where the chickens are literally
shoulder to shoulder in a huge barn that contains maybe 8000
chickens, so these are poorly regulated. Grace: That is kind of troubling
for those of us who — Dr. Montville: Yeah.
Grace: Worry about animal welfare.
Dr. Montville: I think “free range” does mean free range, and
that is what I look for when I’m concerned about animal welfare.
That is another good point on why food manufacturers are going
toward organic and natural and free range.
Conventional, in my shop right, you can get on sale conventional
eggs for $.99 a dozen, where the farmers’ best organic free range
eggs run for about $4.50, so there is a huge premium for
these. Grace: Right, so there is certainly a huge commercial
motivation to get them labeled this way. Dr. Montville: Mmhmm.
Grace: Perhaps you might have seen some of the questions about
fraud in these claims. There is a question about to
what extent can we really trust that foods labeled as organic
are genuinely organic, for example, in the farmers markets,
when you see fraud going on, they take off the box, and here
is the food presented as organic.
To what extent can we trust organic labeling in the U.S.?
Dr. Montville: Well, there are two parts of that. If there are — that USDA
organic symbol, those are verified by third-party
auditors, so you could be very confident that it is organic.
When it comes to fruit him and produce stands, a former man
fact grind his food as organic, but definitely verification and legal and organic costs about
$5,000, which is prohibitive to most small farmers, so they
label it, and the trust really comes from the consumer trusting
the farmer that is selling the produce, so there is potential
for fraud there, and it has to do with trust between the
consumer and the farmer. Grace: Right.
Coming back to the idea of trust , you know, what is — where do
you see consumer demand for these foods going, and to what
extent is trust — or mistrust — in conventional food systems
behind that? Dr. Montville: That is another
question for sociologists, but the food industry is aware of
this consumer distrust of, you know, General Foods and
Kellogg’s and General Mills and the other generals, so a lot of
the food companies are buying up smaller companies, like nature
Valley, and they are selling them under the name of the
smaller company, and somewhere you can see in fine print that
it is in fact owned by General Mills.
The food companies are very aware of this , and — which
runs, I think, counter to the big trend of consolidation, so there is some tension between
the consolidation in the consumer perception of the “big
is bad.” Grace: Right.
Obviously, consumers seem to be paying a premium for organic and
natural labeled food. Why isn’t that companies can
demand such a premium for organic, labeled food?
Is that pricing due to the
organic processes used and to produce the food, and to what
extent is that just commercial? Dr. Montville: There is a supply
and demand issue, so that the supply of organic food is less
than the demand, and sometimes there is a demand for some
organic or ingredient that is just not available commercially
because of that transition period.
Does the increase in price — is it warranted by the increased
price of production or consumer demand? Is it predatory? I do not know whether it is
predatory or not, but I guess basic economics tells you that
the price of something is what
they are paying and what the producer is going to sell for.
I personally do not believe in a premium, except when I buy my
eggs. Grace: Great. So moving on to questions about
supplements, what kinds — where should consumers seek out
accurate information for supplement quality and content?
Dr. Montville: That is a tough
question to answer. I have seen some of them start
to have the U.S. pharmaceutical symbol on them.
Some of them, I think the big companies, which you can be
pretty sure are containing what they say they are containing,
but aside from that, it is the wild wild West when it comes to
supplements. You can never really be sure of what you are getting or how much
of it. Grace: So our curiosity, what is
behind the divergence, that food labeling has all of these very
strict rules, but supplement labeling is the wild West?
What is the history behind that? Dr. Montville: The history is
the NLEA regulates food
ingredients and was originally going to be applied to
supplements, but there was a tremendous consumer outcry.
The government is going to take away our supplements.
They are going to take away the pills we need to survive on. So there was a political
pressure, which resulted in the legislation of the dietary
supplement health and education act, so there are two separate set of laws governing food and
supplements, where the supplement, the regulation is
just very vague. Grace: That is really interesting.
And sort of disturbing as well. There is another question, a set
of questions about the safety of food , and when you label
something as “Best By ,” that
says, yes, the food is that peak taste before that best by date, but is there any consensus about
what happens to foods beyond that Best by date?
Dr. Montville: Beyond the best by date, it is just a quality
issue. Beyond the use or freeze by
date, it could become a safety issue.
There is an organism called Listeria that is the leading
cause of microbial recall, and
this organism is very different, because it grows in the cold, so
the concern is that if you keep the food in the cold for an
extended period of time, this Listeria can grow in sufficient
numbers to cause an infection and illness. Grace: OK, so there is a clear
safety issue on, say, a package of chicken that has a freeze by,
versus your package of crackers that says best by, after that,
perhaps it just gets a little stale.
Dr. Montville: yeah, I had my daughter goes my pantry one day,
and she said “dad, I’m going to throw out anything that is older
than me.” I will not tell you what she
found. [LAUGHTER] Grace: Are you still eating it?
Dr. Montville: I was still
eating it, because it is best if used by. Grace: Fair. [laughs]
Dr. Montville: In foods, there is a characteristic
physiological thing as tasters, so people who find bitter
modifiers like defining saccharin or broccoli, things
like that. Non-tasters are genetically
insensitive to these compounds, and I am a non-taster, so if it
tasted off a little bit, I never know.
Grace: Well, that is lucky, I think.
I just want to reassure the audience that whatever questions
that Professor Montville is not able to get to currently, we
will try and send to him to — for him hopefully to comment on
or answer. Dr. Montville: And I will do my
best to get back to those over the next couple of days. Grace: There’s a question coming
in about — and this is another allergy question, a sensitivity
question, from somebody who is sensitive to glutamate.
They are finding that there is no labeling of flavors that are
made from other sources of glutamate.
Do companies have an obligation to disclose these sources of
natural glutamate? Dr. Montville: The brief answer
is no , and this has to do with
several natural compounds. So, for example, Parmesan cheese
is about 30% acid. Nitrates are looked down upon as
partial consent ages when they are added to meats, but
celery contains probably four
-fold to eight-fold nitrates than does the added nitrate, so
you will see some cured meat products that say “no added
nitrates except those that contain naturally and celery.”
— in celery.” Grace: Right.
So therefore this person should — where can I find information
about the naturally occurring — Dr. Montville: They just have to
dig it out. I guess Google. Grace: OK. And kind of looking ahead, what
trends do you expect to see in consumer goods and food-related
labeling, the on just natural — beyond just natural and organic.
Dr. Montville: The trend is toward lean labels, the fewest
possible ingredients, what consumers are increasingly
looking for. It goes back to this Michael Coh adage that if it
containse chemicals that you cannot pronounce, you should not
be eating it, which of course is not right.
He has done a lot of harm. Grace: Can you talk a little bit
more about that? Dr. Montville: The food we eat
is the most clinical, safest, and least expensive food in the
history of the world. If that bothers you, you can
certainly spend more money on a
high quality of food, but for the most part, people do not
want to do that. They want the free lunch. Grace: What about the example
that there is a health difference between the way high
fructose corn syrup affects our bodies in the way other forms of
sugar affects our bodies? Dr. Montville: Yes, I have implied many times that high
fructose corn syrup is natural, but I have never specifically
said that it is good for us. Fructose is metabolized
differently than Glenn Close — then glucose, and when fructose is metabolized, it is more
likely to be shunted off to the production of lipids and fats.
Grace: Right. Dr. Montville: I should stop
there, because it may be held against me in court someday.
Grace: [laughs] OK. That is fair.
I think, unless there are any other further questions, we will
probably — do you have any closing remarks that you would
like to make? Dr. Montville: Well, one of my
colleagues, who is a risk analyst, likes to say that the
risk of eating is much, much less than the risk of not
eating. The food that we eat is good for
us, it is safe. Our food industry is best to in
producing it — is vested in producing safe foods.
Food scientists eat the same foods as everybody else, and we
feed it to our kids. Grace: Great.
OK, thank you very much, Professor Montville.
On behalf of the Alumni Association, I just want to
thank everybody in the audience for tuning into this Faculty
Forum Online. We will be sure to forward all
questions to Professor Montville, and you can continue
to tweet about today’s chat using the hashtag
#MITBetterWorld, and send any other follow-up questions to
[email protected] That is [email protected] This webinar, I understand, will
also be a made available online later. Thank you, everyone, for
watching, and have a nice day. Dr. Montville: Bye-bye.
Grace: Bye-bye.>>Thanks for joining us. And for more information on how
to connect with the MIT Alumni Association, please
visit our website.

Randall Smitham